Shirobako Episode 24 [Final Impression]

Wow. I can’t believe it. After all this time, 24 episodes later, this show is finally over. Through the complaining, the laughs, the annoyance, it’s finally over. So what do you say we cover one more episode together? Awesome. Let’s do it one more time.

So the episode starts up pretty quickly with everyone working on the last episode. And that’s a LARGE chunk of this episode.

It moves a lot between looking at the different characters and seeing what they’re up to. They’re all extremely short little vignettes, but they get the point across. The artist girl will be working on drawing and talking about how she wants to draw the scene where the voice acting girl played the little girl. Then it will jump to the research girl picking up food for everyone, etc etc. They’re all short like 30 second clips, but they’re all meant to show that everyone’s hard at work, and it does get the point across.

Hey, you, anime lady. that's bee $42.50
Hey, you, anime lady. that’s be $42.50

After this bunch of scenes end, we’re about at the halfway point of the episode. And this is when the main focal point of the episode begins, racing to get the episode to the stations before the air timeslot.

It literally becomes a race against the clock as Miyamori, the 2 producer guys, the manager lady, and the girl with the sick dad all have to race to different parts of Japan to get this episode handed in on time.

The manager lady even outruns about 7 cop cars to do so.

I had no idea I was watching Initial D
I had no idea I was watching Initial D

Everyone manages to drop off their videos at the last moment and they’re out of the woods.

However, on the drive back, Miyamori has an introspective discussion with her doll friends about her life and where it’s going. They ask her whether or not she wants to keep working on anime and she admits that she does. She arrives back at the wrap up party to give a heartfelt speech with all of her friends there about how she loved it and blah blah. The episodes, and therefore the series ends with the five girls together at this party once again affirming that one day they’ll make the legends of the seven gods movie together.

And....also apparently their donuts summon captain planet.
And….also apparently their donuts summon captain planet.

And with that, I can put the recaps of Shirobako to rest. So…what did I think of this final episode?

Honestly, it really really felt rushed.

This show has been running at a pretty consistent pace for quite a while. And then, for this episode to run the way it did….it felt…weird. This faster pace does not fit this show well. As I have stated before, one of the biggest things about this show is the insanely large cast and I am going to be completely honest. It gets hard keeping track of all of those people. I mean, I like to think that I know a bunch of them, but when they jump really fast between people, I get a little confused.

I know....about half the people in this room.
I know….about half the people in this room.

But that’s not really the issue at hand. The issue is the pacing. Everything has been leading up to finishing this story and everything gets smooshed together in the last episode. Everyone’s character arcs supposedly come full circle, I suppose we’re supposed to feel as if some of them are done…I don’t know.

I actually wanted to see a lot more with Hiraoka and Mohawk guy. However I suppose it was assumed that their growth is done or it’s not relevant anymore. This all falls back to the rushed aspect.

However, nothing in this episode pissed me off more than the treatment of the Shizuka. My god. Just…my god what they did to her.

Okay. I had been bitching and complaining for this series about how much I wanted to her to get a voice acting role and how I felt bad for her. Yet for 22 episodes she did not get a single role, until finally at the last moment they gave her a role as a minor character in episode 23. No pomp, no circumstance, just a “okay there you go”. And in this episode, it’s even worse. She doesn’t get a wrap up of her character’s arc, hell she hardly even gets any lines of dialogue. We as the audience are apparently supposed to feel as if “Oh, well she got a role. And look here! She’s getting another one! So everything worked out.”

oh boy!. oh...oh wait. i don't care
oh boy!. oh…oh wait. i don’t care

It seems that out of all the girls, she was the one who most got shafted to the side when it all boiled down to everything. She never got her great audition moment which lead to a role in the series. She never got her epic moment. She simply got a pity role at the end of the series.

This last episode felt as if they thought they were getting another 12 episodes and were told at the last minute, “oh no, you have to wrap everything up this episode.” It’s as if they were going to have more development later, but now won’t get around to it, and instead of leaving it open for another season, crammed it into a neat tidy package.

Overall, it was an okay series. I will elaborate on these thoughts on my overall review, but for this episode at least….the ending was…okay. It wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t great, it was simply okay. Miyamori’s big revelation of “I want to keep working in anime” didn’t really throw me off guard and I didn’t find myself wondering if they were going to make it in time as I knew what was going to happen.

Maybe I’m a bit too harsh on this show, but that’s because I expected so much from this show. Sometimes, it delivered, but at least in this episode, the ending could have been much better than what it was.

So…overall I’ll leave this final episode Shirobako with a 6…out of 10.

-Hideki

 

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